An official Republican senate candidate who is a QAnon follower refuted her campaign’s attempt to claim she did not really believe in the conspiracy theory Friday.
In a bizarre episode which could prove that she is both paranoid and that her campaign really was out to get her, Jo Rae Perkins said those running her bid for Oregon’s Senate seat were wrong to put out a statement denying she believed in ‘Q’ – and that she was ‘literally and physically sick’ to see it on her twitter account.
Perkins won the Republican primary on Tuesday and will go head-to-head with Jeff Merkley, the sitting junior Democratic senator.
On Wednesday her Twitter account was updated with a statement which was purportedly from her and which claimed calling her a QAnon supporter was a smear by the ‘liberal media.’
It claimed at length that she was ‘not endorsing QAnon but rather stating that I appreciate the fact there is free speech in this country.’
And it claimed she was the victim of ‘biased press not doing its due diligence.’
Unfortunately for the Republican campaign, it turned out that its staff had failed to do due diligence; Perkins told ABC News on Friday that she had not written a word of the statement and in fact does ‘stand with’ QAnon.
Don’t believe your lying eyes: Jo Rae Perkins said she did not write a word of her tweeted statement and did not notice its denial that she follows QAnon. She was ‘physically sick’ when she read it and now says: ‘Q is the information and I stand with the information resource.’
No doubt where she stands: During her campaign Perkins (second from right) took part in protests with a banner emblazoned with a QAnon hashtag
Planning to use Q in the Senate: Perkins proudly says ‘I follow Q like I follow Jesus’ and plans if she shocks pollsters by being elected to use the information in Congress
‘My campaign is gonna kill me,’ Perkins said. ‘How do I say this? Some people think that I follow Q like I follow Jesus. Q is the information and I stand with the information resource.’
She explained that it was written for her and she ‘scanned it and said, yeah, it looks good to me.’
‘And then I saw it afterwards and I am like, literally was in tears, literally physically in tears because I’m so blown away. Because I went, c**p, that’s not me. And I don’t back down,’ she said.
Her explanation raised questions about the conduct of her campaign and offered a rare confirmation from a candidate for elected office that they do not write, or sometimes fully read, their campaign material.
Staffers may have been wise to check – or possibly purge – the rest of her twitter feed and Facebook page, both of which show her brandishing QAnon signs and endorsing its claim of a ‘great awakening.’
They could also have found one of her first interviews after her victory, on a QAnon livestream promising to use ‘information’ gleaned from her scouring of QAnon threads on conspiracy websites and message boards in the Senate, and saying: ‘Most of the people who were at our election night party were Q people.’
Apart from a botched takeover of her twitter feed, the Republican Party appears to have done little to aid Perkins directly. National sources of funding are so far not promising any cash for her race.
She does have a campaign website which fails to mention her belief in a theory that a mysterious high-ranking government official called Q is leaving clues about a ‘great awakening’ which will see a massive conspiracy of pedophiles, politicians, the media and big business brought down mostly singlehandedly by Donald Trump.
Instead it says: ‘Jo Rae Perkins is a Main Street American who believes the US Constitution strongly and clearly spells out the role of the US Senate and the federal government.’
The Oregon Republican Party told ABC News in a lukewarm endorsement of Perkins: ‘By virtue of being the GOP nominee, this is what we do – support them in winning the general election.’
The seat is not seen as competitive for the party, with Donald Trump losing the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016 50 to 39. Democrat Ron Wyden, the senior senator, won that year 57 to 33.
Perkins is a former Republican chairwoman of Linn County, located south of Oregon’s capital, Salem.
In a four-way race among Republican candidates, Perkins was hovering around 50 per cent, meaning she will be on the general election ballot against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley, who holds an advantage in the mostly-blue state, Yahoo News reported.
In another clue to her staff, Perkins celebrated in a victory speech by referring to herself as a ‘Q person’ and then repeating a slogan used by followers of the conspiracy theory: ‘Where we go one, we go all.’
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Rae Perkins won the Oregon Republican Party’s primary Tuesday night. She stood out among the candidates because she leaned into the QAnon conspiracy theory
QAnon believers think President Trump and an individual name ‘Q’ are taking on the elites and ‘deep state’ officials, who are trying to kill children. The conspiracy theory is similar to Pizzagate, which accused Hillary Clinton of running a child trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor
A QAnon conspiracy theorist (left) and a Trump supporter (right) are among the throngs who came out to the state capitol in Salem, Oregon on May 2 to protest the state’s stay at home orders. Perkins ran on her belief in ‘Q’ as a Republican for U.S. Senate in the state
Perkins made no secret of her belief in QAnon – a conspiracy theory that revolves around ‘deep state’ officials and global elites killing children, with President Trump and a high-ranking intelligence official dubbed ‘Q’ – who could be Trump himself – working to thwart the plot – something campaign staff appeared to think they could change with a statement blaming the ‘biased press.’
It has similar outlines to Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory that grew in the deep reaches of the right-wing internet in 2016 that said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ran a sex trafficking ring in the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor.
The bizarre theory got started using references from her campaign chairman John Podesta’s leaked emails.
The pizza place has no basement, nor was Clinton involved in any such plot.
But allies of Trump on the right, including ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s son, pushed it into prominence – in has case before his father pleaded guilty in a plea deal partially to save his son from being charged, legal documents have disclosed.
A North Carolina man found it so believable that he showed up with a firearm to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, to stage a rescue.
The president has retweeted ‘Q’-supporting accounts as well, but Perkins, during her Senate primary run, has taken her support to another level.
‘It’s a very highly calculated risk that I’m taking,’ she told Right Wing Watch in January. ‘Most people play it a lot safer than I do. It’s either pure genius or pure insanity. It’s one of the two. The voters are going to have to be the ones that make that decision.’
Perkins speaks about ‘Q’ like he or she is a real person.
‘Q is most likely military intelligence and they’ve been out there watching what’s been going on with our country for decades and they are partnered with President Trump to stop the corruption and to save our republic.’
She suggested to Right Wing Watch that ‘there’s probably a lot of us out there.’
‘But I just happen to be bold enough to say, ‘Hey, I’m following Q because I want to know, because if the Q team is real, I want to know about it,’ she said.